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Old 04-09-2007, 09:55 AM   #21
vanshnookenraggen
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I'm actually really torn on this. On one hand, extending the commuter rail to FR and NB will no doubt be a boon to their economies. People can live cheaper there and commute into Boston and it will be an incentive for businesses to move there, ultimately helping the economy of the entire commonwealth.

But there is the cost and the fact that the MBTA's current infrastructure is starting to fall apart after years of differed maintenance. This coupled with the fact that anything new the T builds is built on the cheap so that in 10 years they are falling apart again. Yes, FR and NB should have the same access as Lowell or Lawrence but at the cost of the rest of the system?

I think the T, and for that matter all of the infrastructure in the state, needs to be brought up to modern quality before we start expanding. What good is commuter rail to FR and NB if the train tracks into Boston are falling apart?
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:08 AM   #22
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That's cool as long as I don't have to pay for it.
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Old 04-09-2007, 03:00 PM   #23
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The CR has had a positive impact on Brockton. I commute through it into boston on the middleboro/lakeville line and it's definetly seen housing costs increase and a (small but real) decrease in crime.

Fall River and New Bedford have actually updated their existing rail lines to be ready for the commuter rail. the infrastructure in the two cities is ready to be used. Obviously the MBTA still has to build stations, but the rails in each of those places have been replaced in the last 5-10 years and are ready to go.

One part of this project is to build a massive holdover yard in Freetown to house many of the locomotives and cars overnight (and not just the locomotives and cars operating on this line) to reduce congestion in south boston.




EDIT** on another note, Fall River and New Bedford are certainly further from Boston than Brockton, Lynn, Lowell, etc but they're still not too far out. Their attractiveness to educated workers would be their locations, believe it or not. Fall River and New Bedford are coastal towns. Both have easy access to the Cape and the Islands (Via 195) and New Bedford has ferry service to Martha's Vinyard and Nantucket and regional air service to the Cape and the Islands. Unlike Lynn (another coastal town) neither city is in the immediate Boston area, and have access to a more resort-like coastline (close to towns like Marion, Mattapoiset, Onset, Wareham, Westport, and even Newport, and Bristol, RI).

This makes it attractive. The fact that it's affordable, outside the immediate Metro, and close to the South Coast attractions and tourist sites. Also, Especially in New Bedford, there is a major historical district, on Par with Salem's Witch attractions that is overshadowed by the crime and negative publicity the city gets. The Whaling District there along with the Whaling museum, shops, and Restaurants and Bars (Candleworks, Fins and Catwalk to name a few) is a preserved area complete with cobblestone streets and a really eclectic feel. This area is already improving, and has the potential with the right population to be on par with Portland, Maine's Old Port district.
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Old 04-09-2007, 04:42 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanshnookenraggen
This coupled with the fact that anything new the T builds is built on the cheap so that in 10 years they are falling apart again.
Nothing the T builds is built cheap. Built shitty, yes. But it certainly doesn't have a low price tag.
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Old 04-09-2007, 05:14 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DudeUrSistersHot
Quote:
Originally Posted by vanshnookenraggen
This coupled with the fact that anything new the T builds is built on the cheap so that in 10 years they are falling apart again.
Nothing the T builds is built cheap. Built shitty, yes. But it certainly doesn't have a low price tag.
Well put.
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:05 PM   #26
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What about Worcester? And Springfield?

Have Worcester & Springfield benefited from having Commuter Rail links?

Creating links just so more people come into Boston isn't necessarily a great thing, is it? Can't people start going the opposite way?

I'm serious.
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:39 PM   #27
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Re: What about Worcester? And Springfield?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimboJones
Have Worcester & Springfield benefited from having Commuter Rail links?

Creating links just so more people come into Boston isn't necessarily a great thing, is it? Can't people start going the opposite way?

I'm serious.
Well, it is the MBTA and people in those cities also pay the tax, so they have a right to steal boston people.
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Old 04-09-2007, 08:28 PM   #28
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Re: What about Worcester? And Springfield?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimboJones
Have Worcester & Springfield benefited from having Commuter Rail links?

Creating links just so more people come into Boston isn't necessarily a great thing, is it? Can't people start going the opposite way?

I'm serious.
Well Springfield doesn't have CR, but I am almost certain that Worcester has benefited greatly from the added service.

And as for reverse commuting, I think it is a good thing personally. The more jobs in the state with less rush hour congestion, the better.
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:35 AM   #29
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Rail line d?j? vu

By Brian McGrory, Globe Columnist | April 25, 2007

EASTON -- Here we go again.

That's what I was thinking as I drove around a town called Easton looking for a place known as the Hockomock Swamp, which is evidently such an important body of water that local residents are marching in protest and running to court to protect it.

Protect it from what? Excellent question. Protect it from the state's proposal to build a commuter rail line from Boston to New Bedford and Fall River. Suddenly, everyone in town is an environmentalist, a champion of lizards and other creepy-crawlies that squirm in the muck.

In other words, we've seen this movie already, saw it on the South Shore in a town whose name I can't quite remember, where some minority of petulant prima donnas held up the commuter rail proposal for more than a decade, costing the people of Massachusetts hundreds of millions of dollars in the process.

In that town -- Gingham, was it? -- they were all historians, carping about the impact of the train on their ancient village. There was undoubtedly some body of water they were also trying to protect.

Here in Easton, the locals have been blocking the push for commuter rail through town to New Bedford and Fall River for years. Maybe it's important to note that a rail bed already cuts right through the heart of Easton -- and the swamp -- and there's even a thoroughfare known as Depot Street. I don't think that's slang for "court deposition."

Doesn't matter. The townspeople want another slew of environmental impact studies. They've picketed planning meetings. As recently as last month, a respected local selectman, John Haederle, was quoted in this paper saying, "The swamp has so many benefits."

John, it's a swamp. Aren't swamps supposed to be filled in? If it were a nice place, worthy of protection, wouldn't it at least be called a marsh?

But wait. There's something else. The Hockomock Swamp, I find out, is considered to be, according to this very newspaper, a "hotbed of reported supernatural events and strange sightings and experiences" that date back hundreds of years.

How else to put this? People have seen large, half-man, half-ape creatures wandering the swamp. Others have fled the wrath of monster-sized dogs. There have been reports of brightly lit UFOs hovering over it.

"It could all be completely natural," said Chris Balzano, a local specialist on the paranormal. "There are supposed to be areas of quicksand. There's the risk of falling through thin ice. Or being attacked by a large, pterodactyl type of bird, or being chased by massive dogs with glowing red eyes."

I ask again, citizens of Easton: This is what you're trying to protect?

So I'm riding around looking for it, when I pull up at a fire station and ask paramedic Chris Mills for directions.

"You're in it," he said. He's joking, sort of. He says the swamp is all over, then shows me a map with roads cutting through it, as well as the old rail bed.

"My house is so close to the tracks that it will rattle when they bring the train," he said. "And I could care less. My wife and I are fine with it. The train helped build this town."

Which is what Scott Lang is hoping, down in New Bedford. He's the mayor of a city with an unemployment rate over 9 percent, and he's desperate for rail to Boston. He gave me his Chamber of Commerce speech about how great his city is and then said, "If you told me they're trying to build a nuclear waste dump in Easton, I'd say that's not right. But, it's rail. It's a fact of life."

Back to the swamp. I found it, north of the local dogtrack, just off Route 138. Maybe it wasn't the exact part of the swamp designated for protection by the state, but part of the swamp nonetheless. And here's what else I found: trash, old bottles, discarded wrappers, sun-baked boxes.

Maybe it's not the train that's the real threat to the Hockomock, but the residents of Easton. Or maybe most people here aren't really that worried about the swamp at all.

Source: http://www.boston.com/news/local/art...il_line_dj_vu/
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Old 04-25-2007, 11:03 AM   #30
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I like the cut of that mans jib.
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Old 04-25-2007, 11:08 AM   #31
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I don't necessarily disagree with McGrory on this one, but would it kill the man to actually examine the case that he's writing about?

His argument basically boils down to "there were morons who tried to block a train in Hingham and now there's a train in Easton that people are opposed to, therefore they must be morons." He essentially admits he knows nothing about the environmental impact, but since the thing is called a swamp and not a marsh, therefore it must be worthless land.

I mean, really. It would be a lot more convincing if he knew what he was talking about, but that would be way too much work for McGrory.
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Old 04-25-2007, 04:22 PM   #32
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don't necessarily disagree with McGrory on this one, but would it kill the man to actually examine the case that he's writing about?

The dog track he's referring to on route 138 is actually in the town of Raynham, the other town that's fighting the train, and not in Easton. It's really not the swamp anyone's worried about since the rail bed, numerous high-tension power lines and roads (Route 24) already crisscross the Hockomock they just don't want noisy trains running through their towns. Commuters can commute to Bridgewater or Brockton or Canton or where ever to park their cars and take the train...or even better, build a spur line where none exists and connect the Old Colony Line to the New Bedford line and run all those trains there...the hell with the the towns that line the Old Colony Line, and that's ok but Not In My Back Yard.
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Old 04-26-2007, 07:21 PM   #33
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I think it's more than a play on words. Swamp, Marsh, call it what you will but it's a dump. The place is trashed, and the "environmental impact" won't be any worse than what's already taking place there. Route 24? 138? those are noisy, busy routes. Also, the commuter rails run no later than 10:30-10:45ish at night, so it's not going to be too disturbing.

While the author of the article certainly should have done more research, he's not wrong in his writing. It is a gimmick by the residents of these towns along the proposed line (not just Easton... but Freetown, Raynham, etc.) to avoid the possibility of noise. Essentially, it's like every nimby... if it's change, it's bad.

It's Easton... not some tiny farming community in a very rural area. it's a town that borders Brockton, and has plenty of busy roads that have traffic at the same time the trains will "rumble" by (route 24, 138, 106, 123, etc). I've lived in Harlem New York right next to an elevated (it made more noise than non-elevated rail) commuter rail (they run 24 hours there, remember) and my girlfriend currently lives right near the down-easter rail in Scarborough, Maine. the noise doesn't phase you after about 2 nights. get over it. this is going to benefit the state as a whole, ESPECIALLY the Southcoast communities that have been neglected for so long.
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Old 04-26-2007, 11:06 PM   #34
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And by the way, the commuter rail runs through plenty of fancy-schmancy towns already, and much later than 10:30 pm, too. Beverly Farms, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Rockport, Andover, Winchester, Weston, Lincoln, Concord, Wellesley ...
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:31 AM   #35
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I would have to agree with lrfox.

Although I don't know the specifics of the Hockomock Marsh, it really seems to me that people in Easton are just trying to block a "noisy" train that will go through their town, to the detriment of the state as a whole. As lrfox said, this train line would benefit the state, especially the city's of New Bedford and Fall River (whether or not its worth the cost is another matter). Environmental regulations were established to prevent serious hazards to the environment, not for people to use as an excuse to block a train line. How much impact would a set of tracks and trains running through a marsh really have? Would it help the natural environment? Of course not. Would it cause the downfall of the environment? Probably not. On a larger scale, the number of people riding the train and not using cars would benefit the environment.
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Old 04-27-2007, 12:06 PM   #36
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If a train can get thru hingham, a train can go anywhere.
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Old 04-27-2007, 12:59 PM   #37
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Regarding noisy trains, my in-laws live right on a New Jersey Transit line, and I'll be darned if those trains barely hiss when they pass by. No chunkety-chunkety train sounds and no diesel roar at all. I presume the difference between the NJ Transit and the MBTA is that NJ Transit is electrified and the rails are welded together, but to be honest, I know zip about trains. Why can't the T weld it's rails? Or, longer-term, electrify it's tracks? That could solve a lot of their issues. I suppose that would still leave the issue of whistles at road crossings, but there's probably a fix for that, too.
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Old 04-27-2007, 01:19 PM   #38
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There's already a lot of welded rail on the MBTA system, though I'm not sure it's everywhere yet.
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Old 04-27-2007, 01:49 PM   #39
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The MBTA should replace their fleet of locomotives with diesel or electric multiple units - very similar to subway cars except that each car has a propulsion system. Similar to MetroNorth cars. Starting and stopping is quicker and they are much more quieter than those giant locomotives.

Oh, and 90 percent of MBTA tracks are welded.
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Old 05-21-2007, 10:28 PM   #40
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Monday, May 21, 2007
New Bedford casts net for casino

By Sean P. Murphy, Globe Staff

With the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe increasingly focused on building a casino on a 350-acre tract in Middleborough, the mayor of New Bedford convened a meeting Monday with tribal leaders for the third time in four months to ensure that his city remains in the running.

Emerging from a 90-minute meeting with tribal leaders at City Hall, Mayor Scott Lang told reporters he and Mashpee Wampanoag chairman Glenn Marshall had agreed to keep their discussions going, even as the tribe pursues the Middleborough location.

While disclosing few details of the discussions, Lang made it plain that New Bedford wants the casino.

"If Glenn Marshall comes to me and says he wants to locate a casino in New Bedford, then we would accommodate them," Lang said.

Both city officials and tribal leaders are discussing a 95-acre waterfront site with easy access from Interstate 195, according to an official familiar with the discussions.

While that site is much smaller than the one already under the tribe?s control in Middleborough, it is considered big enough for a five-star hotel, casino, and other development, modeled on Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.

In his comments after the meeting, Lang said that New Bedford has the roadways, water, and other infrastructure required for a major development.

The casino sweepstakes began in earnest in February, when the federal government recognized the Mashpee Wampanoags as an authentic tribe, giving them broad rights to operate a casino within a 50-mile radius of their historic homeland on Cape Cod.

Since then, the tribe has focused on Middleborough and New Bedford. Last month, it took an option on the Middleborough property. The site has access from Interstate 495, and town officials had indicated strong support for the plan for a $750 million casino.

But the tribe has yet to seal the deal in Middleborough and has until June 11 to put up $1.7 million for the purchase of about half the land there.

Meanwhile, Middleborough residents appear increasingly split over hosting what could become one of the world?s largest casinos.

With the future in Middleborough uncertain, New Bedford remains a viable option, tribal officials say.

Regardless of the merits of gambling, does anyone think that if New Bedford is chosen as the site, the MBTA will have a somewhat easier time getting commuter rail there? Perhaps the casino will help foot the bill?
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